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    Gary Payton II is returning to his Pacific Northwest roots, agreeing to a $28 million, three-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed that Payton would depart the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to join a backcourt alongside Damian Lillard and lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe, selected with the seventh overall pick in last Thursday’s draft.When the season ended, longtime journeyman Payton acknowledged he couldn’t wait to finally get his opportunity in free agency. A G Leaguer for so long, Golden State cut Payton before the season began then he was re-signed.

      Now that Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary hearing has concluded, the best solution for the NFL and the quarterback's legal team is to reach a settlement before retired judge Sue Robinson issues a decision. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits. A settlement with the NFL would avoid an appeal that undermines the collectively bargained process with a disciplinary officer and prevents a potential court case. The longer the process drags, the messier it can get. And, it’s already ugly.

        A person familiar with the negotiations tells the AP that point guard Ricky Rubio has agreed to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a multiyear contract. Rubio, who was instrumental in Cleveland’s turnaround last season before injuring his knee, agreed to a 3-year, $18.4 million deal, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not yet announced the deal. The 31-year-old Rubio was having one of his best NBA seasons before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament against New Orleans in December. Rubio averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 assists in 34 games.

          The Boston Celtics have improved their backcourt depth by trading for Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon. The Associated Press has confirmed that the Celtics are sending five backup forwards and a 2023 first-round pick to Indiana in exchange. Brogdon became available after Indiana acquired Tyrese Haliburton from Sacramento during a flurry of midseason trades. The Pacers also now have about $31 million in salary cap space.

            Rudy Gobert has been traded by the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive package of players and draft picks, a person with knowledge of the blockbuster deal said. Utah is getting four first-round picks between 2023 and 2029, along with Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and a first-round pick this year in Walker Kessler, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the NBA had not approved the deal and neither team could announce it publicly. ESPN, which first reported the trade, also said Jarred Vanderbilt was going from Minnesota to Utah as part of the deal for Gobert.

              The Los Angeles Police Department says Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been charged with felony domestic violence. Bridges was arrested Wednesday for “intimate partner violence with injury,” which is a felony. The incident occurred two days earlier in West Los Angeles. He was released on $130,000 bond. He has a July 20 court date. The 24-year-old Bridges is a restricted free agent who had been expected to command big money in the free agent market this summer. His agent has not returned calls seeking comment.

                Zach LaVine is staying in Chicago. Same goes for Jusuf Nurkic in Portland. Day 2 of NBA free agency brought another max deal — this time, going to LaVine, who secured the richest contract in Bulls history when he agreed to a $215 million, five-year contract. Nurkic got by far the biggest payday of his career, agreeing to a four-year, $70 million contract with Portland. The center just completed his eighth NBA season, the last six of those coming with the Trail Blazers, for whom he averaged 15 points and 11.1 rebounds this past season.

                Linn-Benton Community College's Andy Peterson has been named the coach of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Peterson led the Roadrunners to the Northwest Athletic Conference championship this season. Linn-Benton finished the season with a record of 37-12.

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                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Now that Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary hearing has concluded, the best solution for the NFL and the quarterback's legal team is to reach a settlement before retired judge Sue Robinson issues a decision. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits. A settlement with the NFL would avoid an appeal that undermines the collectively bargained process with a disciplinary officer and prevents a potential court case. The longer the process drags, the messier it can get. And, it’s already ugly.

                Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary hearing concluded Thursday with the NFL adamant about an indefinite suspension of at least one year and the quarterback’s legal team arguing there’s no basis for that punishment, two people with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. Both sides presented their arguments over three days before former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Delaware, according to both people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the hearing isn’t public. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women and settled 20 of the civil lawsuits.

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